Regulators offer relief to institutions impacted by California wildfires

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Federal and state financial regulators issued a statement Thursday offering regulatory relief to banks and credit unions affected by the California wildfires that have destroyed thousands of properties.

The interagency statement provides affected institutions some relief from regulatory reporting requirements while encouraging institutions to offer consumers loan modifications, on a case-by-case basis, and additional credit through the Community Reinvestment Act if a bank provides community development loans in disaster areas.

The Camp Fire in Northern California has taken at least 56 lives and destroyed thousands of structures in the past week, while the Woosley Fire has burned more than 98,000 acres near Los Angeles. On Thursday it was 57% contained.

The agencies “recognize the serious impact of the California wildfires on the customers, members, and operations of many financial institutions and will provide appropriate regulatory assistance to affected institutions subject to their supervision,” the statement said. “The agencies encourage institutions operating in the affected areas to meet the financial services needs of their communities.”

The agencies have also permitted branch closings.

The statement was from the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the California Department of Business Oversight.

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